I just came across this sentence:
> I don't know who you're.
As a native English speaker, that strikes me as grammatically incorrect, but I can't for the life of me figure out what rule it breaks.
@codesections I don't know the fancy names, but the reason it's grammatically incorrect is because if it were "you're" then you would expect another word after it.
(as opposed to "you are" which would end the sentence)
@IslandUsurper sorry that middle one was an example that doesn't work.
@rune @dajbelshaw @codesections I think it is less of breaking a grammatical rule than misusing the stylistic device of the ellipsis. With "You can't", the speaker implies "You can't do that." respectively (maybe a bit contrived) "It isn't like that."
"But you're" also feels wrong to me. At least I don't know what you mean, there is something missing, what "are you"?
So I agree, it is weird, probably because people have different expectations and someone else may know how to complete this.
https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/ending-a-sentence-with-a-contraction.1656954/ has some discussion on it, though I think I like this explanation best:
"Contractions can be used in any position in a sentence; however, homophone contractions such as "it's" and "they're" sound better when followed by another word or phrase. The reason is that the sounds of "its" and "it's" and "they're" and "their" are so similar that they can be confusing unless they are used with the context of an additional word. "
@codesections I read that as breaking no rules, only conventions.
@codesections Technically legal, "I do not know who you are." But a trailing contraction is unusual.
@codesections it doesn't break any *hard rules*. It breaks the soft rule that you shouldn't end a sentence with a contraction.
This is because until relatively recently, contractions were a form of slang. Shakespeare really made contractions popular, but also Tennyson and Pope and others did so as well.
More recently, certain contractions have become codified in our grammars.
"You're" is a word now
"E'now, th'eternal" are both examples that have fallen out of favor.
@codesections these are all carry over soft rules from the French hard rules.
@codesections not gonna lie. I wrote a paper that was published in the Journal of English Linguistics and Philological Studies that touched on this very point. This very question just makes me feel all warm inside... finally, I actually k.ow something.
I could give a whole semester of lectures on the rules of contraction and their history.
@codesections contractions can only be used when the verb they contract is in the transitive form
@codesections I think the issue is that we wouldn't say it that way out loud.
@codesections I agree. Isn't there some grammatical rule that you can't end a sentence in a contraction?
> Isn't there some grammatical rule that you can't end a sentence in a contraction?
Maybe you know of one, but I don't.
"We don’t use affirmative contractions at the end of clauses"
I have a friend who runs a company with “skill” in its name; its slogan is “you’ve it, we enhance it” (as in “you have the skill, we enhance it”). The contraction always seems wrong to me, but it’s hard to explain why without ad-hoc made-up sounding rules.
@codesections I asked my brother, the English teacher. His response:
"I haven’t looked into it, but I suspect that it is more of a formality and convention issue. Contractions are already seen as informal and would not be used in high level academic writing. Using you’re in the manner you shared would also just be unconventional. It is the kind of mistake that indicates outsider. Like people who say Ne-vah-dah. It isn’t “wrong” but it isn’t right."
As I understand it there's two "proper" ways "Nevada" is pronounced by locals: one while one is speaking English and the other while one is speaking Spanish. The version outsiders often want to use while speaking English is closer to the Spanish version, but with a slightly different emphasis.
@codesections It does feel like something should follow. And, Liam Neeson would never say it like that. 😊
For those not aware, I was referring to a line from the Taken movie series.
@codesections Grammar is prescriptive or descriptive. The 1st is concerned with 'correctness' which is 'prescribed' by the dialect of the powerful, e.g. in English 'ain't' is prescriptively incorrect. The 2nd describes the rules of the language as spoken. Descriptively I know of no dialect where your example would be used natively. I would guess that prescriptively there is a rule somewhere about a contraction needing a follower. It could also cause confusion with the homophone 'your'.
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